03 February, 2008

Indulging all my vices at once

Really, am I the first to remark on the fact that we are facing a once-in-a-lifetime event? Super Tuesday and Carnival/Carneval/Mardi Gras are both on the same day this year, and they're only two days after the Super Bowl. The entire Western world is wallowing vice right before Ash Wednesday this year. If that doesn't correspond to one of the seven seals in the Apocalypse of St. John, someone should correct it.

You read that right! I hold indeed no higher esteem for dancing around in skimpy outfits, pigging out on sweets like King Cake, and collecting plastic beads to hang from one's rear view mirror than I hold for participating in a presidential primary election. I'd swear off voting for Lent, but I might actually have to vote once Mississippi's primary rolls around.

One thing at a time, though. About Carnevale/Carnival/Mardi Gras, I can't wait until it's over and done with. Here in southern Mississippi the Protestants get more fun out of it than Catholics in Venice do, and that's saying something.

I think we're all too scared to be good Catholics here. I visit Holy Mass and the deacon hammers us about the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; I turn on the nightly news and see a bunch of Protestants engaging in the most lascivious behavior imaginable. Even the university has given us two days off, but we have only one day off for Good Friday and Easter. Sorry, but that's just wrong.

Today's newspapers featured several people dressed up in king and queen outfits for their Krewes. The king of the Krewe of Zeus is a Methodist; his queen, a Baptist. Once again, that's just wrong. If these clowns aren't sporting ashes on their foreheads come Wednesday I'm going to quit blogging for Lent in addition to giving up sweets and taking a walk every day. (Trying to take the President's advice and lose some pork.)

Speaking of fat and of Fat Tuesday, why isn't there a Carnesalve/Dimanche Gras festival once Lent ends? It seems odd that we should say goodbye to meat with such licentious glee, but hardly think to welcome it back on Easter Sunday. There are some things about people I will never figure out. Isn't it someone's job to figure out questions like that? If not, why not? Questions like this keep one awake at night.

Back to the primary, another comedy in the making. I'm out of the country come March 11th, so I called up the county clerk to find out what I have to do about an absentee ballot. The answer is that I'll have to drive 30 minutes to the county courthouse to fill one out in person. Yes, sir, you read that right. Virginia and North Carolina had no problems sending me an absentee ballot, but Mississippi's too cheap to spend the $0.41 to send me an absentee ballott if I'm actually in the area when I request it. That there's one of the benefits of the higher sales tax we pay in this state; I'm still trying to figure out what they do with it in Jackson. (I have my suspicions, but it wouldn't be appropriate to write them down here.) If only I had a graduate student; then I could send him or her to go vote for me. If that isn't one of the benefits of graduate students, it should be.

The best that can be said about primary politics in this country is that it beats the way people have gone about choosing leaders pretty much anywhere and anywhen else. By the time everyone's done backstabbing, denouncing, and misrepresenting each other, I doubt anyone is left to vote for one candidate instead of against another. Still, it does seem less nasty than having the parties spill rivers of blood on the fields of Antietam or, for that matter,Hastings.

Personally, I'd rather write in a candidate than vote against someone, which is what I did in 2004. However, if President Bush is on the ballot again this fall I am voting against him. I favor term limits for Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Supreme Court Justices, and fathers. As a matter of fact, the sooner my term as father expires, the better; I miss the quiet life and can't wait to get back. Sometimes I wish my kids would impeach and be done with it; alas, they seem blissfully unaware of this option. I wonder if it's ethical to campaign for my own impeachment.

For all the trouble we have with elections in this country, and for all our dissatisfaction with the end result, we should be grateful for a few things.

  1. Unlike the Russian election, we enjoy a real choice.
  2. Unlike the Italian election, we know what the electoral law will be once the election comes around, and how the winner will be determined.
  3. Unlike Kenya, the sitting President won't be back.


Clemens said...

And unlike Kenya we won't be killing our neighbors over it.

(Though I've thought about it - esp. in '00)

Clemens said...

You're getting funnier Jack.

jack perry said...

Thanks. :-) Unfortunately I've lost my sense of humor for a few days (weeks?) but maybe, like the groundhog, it was merely frightened by its shadow.